Calling Coal “Perverse” and “Not the Future”, UK Announces Decision to Shut Down All Coal-Fired Plants by 2025

November 18, 2015

The UK’s remaining coal-fired power stations will be shut by 2025 with their use restricted by 2023, according to UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd.  Rudd proposed more gas-fired stations be built since relying on “polluting” coal is “perverse”.

Environmentalists are concerned little is being done to promote renewables.  Announcing the consultation, Ms Rudd said: “Frankly, it cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon-intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stationsm,” in a statement.

“Let me be clear: this is not the future.

“We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century.”

“Our determination to cut carbon emissions as cost effectively as possible is crystal clear and this step will make us one of the first developed countries to commit to taking coal off our system.”

All the major parties had signed up to phasing out coal. The previous government’s projections saw it falling to 1% by 2025.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth welcomed the phasing out of coal, but criticised the new emphasis on gas, but likened remaining on fossil fuels to alcoholism.  “Switching from coal to gas is like an alcoholic switching from two bottles of whisky a day to two bottles of port,” senior energy campaigner Simon Bullock said.

Meanwhile, the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said in a report that the bloc would probably achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 20 percent by 2020, compared with levels that existed in 1990.

The commission also forecast that by 2020, Europe would be able to increase to 20 percent from roughly 12 percent the share of energy it consumes from renewable sources like the sun and wind. But the report cautioned that some countries, including Britain, “need to assess whether their policies and tools are efficient and effective” in raising the use of renewable forms of energy.

Analysts say the proposal to close coal-fired power stations could also put pressure on Britain’s electricity providers and on its electricity grid, which has recently shown signs of strain.